How to Conduct Group Discussion?

Group Discussion is to analyze a topic by some people at a specified place and conclude with a relevant solution by consensus. Group Discussion is a crucial step at the time of admission in business schools and interview for job placement.

It is vital to know how to conduct group discussion if you are given an opportunity to be a moderator or want to know for future requirements.

In order to know the process of conducting group discussion, a person needs to know the proper order to execute group discussion.

Initiate the Group Discussion

Allow all participants to introduce themselves

To make everyone comfortable for the group discussion proceedings, ask all participants to introduce themselves one-by-one. It could be a much-needed ice-breaker at the starting of the GD.

You could ask some general question such as favorite movie star or favorite spot in the city for sight-seeing etc. These types of questions make attendees more comfortable to start a conversation.

Make some ground rules

Make some rules and intimate all participants to follow these rules during the discussion. Rules such as respect for other members, gentle manners, no sarcasm or insult etc., keep the mood of the discussion respectful and productive.

Provide a quick refresher about the topic

Start with something like, Do You know why we are here? And go on with a brief about the topic for discussion.

Introduce and briefly describe the topic to make the session more interactive and interesting.

Open-ended questions

Always start group discussion with some open-ended questions. Open-ended questions encourage people to share their perceptions and ideas, and this set tone of discussion.

Simple questions often end with yes or no, and little scope for further elaboration.

Interactive and open discussion

Keep topics and discussion interesting

Don’t stay on one point of discussion for too long. It will make the session boring and lull. Either you introduce a new point in the middle of a discussion or take a cue from another participant and guide the discussion towards a new idea.

A point of consideration is that a new idea or point should be an extension of ongoing discussion; you should not put something new unrelated to the ongoing discussion.

Interactive session for participants

If a discussion group member raises a point or question, ask him/her a follow-up question to encourage productive conversation.

Your tone should be pleasant and not dominating. Sarcasm and insult are a strict no for comfortable group discussion.

Involve everyone in the discussion

To understand how to conduct group discussion better, you need to encourage maximum participation of each member. Every member is important, and their ideas matter for effective discussion.

Conclude the Group Discussion

The ultimate purpose of group discussion is to arrive at a consensus on a solution. Ensure to cover all points, review all member’s raised points and give a summarized overview of the session.

To know how to conduct group discussion properly, you should also know how to handle difficult situations such as one person dominating the group, topics of sensitive nature, and insulting behavior of members etc.

Conclude the group discussion with a concise and direct final statement.